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Reunion with an old friend

This is an item that needs adding to my ever-growing pile being filed under the heading “Things that remind you that you’re getting older and more forgetful”.

At some point in the receding mists of time – if I estimated it was about five years ago I might either be 100% correct or completely wrong – when staying with my father at his home on the south coast I visited his old-fashioned and stout-hearted traditional local butcher, definitely not one of your ‘pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap’ supermarket-type purveyors of raw meat.

During the course of being served with whatever-I-was-buying-at-the-time I noticed a roundel of spicy-looking sausage under the display on his counter and asked what it was.

“Oh, that’s some Boerewors. You ought to try it, I began making them a few weeks ago at the request of a local South African chap and they’re becoming very popular. You should try some.”

I duly did. The fare was delicious – just my sort of thing, a solid, man-type spicy sausage with a bit of a kick to it. A couple slapped between two slices of bread and enhanced by a generous squirt of red tomato sauce on top made for a most satisfying breakfast start to the day.

I became totally hooked.

For many months afterwards I had regularly bought ‘whirls’ of the stuff from said local butchers (sometimes two or three at a time) and Boerewors sausage sandwiches became a staple of the Byford diet, irrespective of whether they were good or bad for the ‘better nutrition and regular exercise’ fitness regime that I had adopted.

My father’s latest live-in carer is a large male South African and when I arrived at the coast for the weekend last Thursday evening he showed me the food that he brought with him and/or bought during the week for the benefit of the house . Among the chicken breasts, mince, steaks and liver (the guy is a full-on protein-eater himself) bedecking the fridge was a large roundel of … er … something that looked vaguely familiar.

“What’s that?” I enquired.

“Oh, that’s Boerewors … “, came the response, “… I brought some with me when I arrived. It’s a South African specialty.”

“I know that – I’m a huge fan of it!”

Within a few minutes he had brought me up to speed on the history of, and recipe for, classic Boerewors, including the fact that the translation of the word from its Afrikaans origin into English is ‘Farmer’s sausage’.

It suddenly all came flooding back to me, as if in a dreamed flashback. The trip to the local butcher’s and my overnight Boerewors addiction all that time ago.

What wasn’t so clear to me, however, was how – at some point  since then which I cannot identify – I had not only completely ‘cured’ myself of said addiction (and returned to normality, or what passes for it in my case) but also totally forgotten that Boerewors had ever existed.

I kid you not, the memory bank hard drive had been wiped as clean as a whistle. As if it had never happened.

[Fast-forward back to the very recent past].

Last Friday morning, accompanied by the carer, I drove straight round to the local butcher and demanded to know whether he had in stock any Boerwors.

He did. I ordered two roundels on the stuff. And have been chomping my way through them at my breakfast table every day since.

My purpose in blogging today was to highlight the episode – an instance of something being a major part of my life for a period of several months, if  not a year, at one point … and yet which (until last Thursday) I had completely forgotten about. And would never have remembered unless and until, if ever, I was reminded of it by random chance … as I had been last Thursday.

Scary, or what?

Here’s a link to a recipe for a classic Boerewors (for anyone who might be interested) – see here – GENIUS KITCHEN

[And here’s a tip – my father’s South African carer stresses that coriander is the core ingredient – he says you cannot include too much of it].


About William Byford

A partner in an international firm of loss adjusters, William is a keen blogger and member of the internet community. More Posts